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First Blood Mass Market Paperback – February 1, 2000

204 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


"I've been a Morrell fan for years -- and now more than ever".-- Dean Koontz on Double Image --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

About the Author

My father was killed during World War II, shortly after I was born in 1943. My mother had difficulty raising me and at the same time holding a job, so she put me in an orphanage and later in a series of boarding homes. I grew up unsure of who I was, desperately in need of a father figure. Books and movies were my escape. Eventually I decided to be a writer and sought help from two men who became metaphorical fathers to me: Stirling Silliphant, the head writer for the classic TV series "Route 66" about two young men in a Corvette who travel America in search of themselves, and Philip Klass (whose pen name is William Tenn), a novelist who taught at the Pennsylvania State University where I went to graduate school from 1966 to 1970. The result of their influence is my 1972 novel, First Blood, which introduced Rambo. The search for a father is prominent in that book, as it is in later ones, most notably The Brotherhood of the Rose (1984), a thriller about orphans and spies. During this period, I was a professor of American literature at the University of Iowa. With two professions, I worked seven days a week until exhaustion forced me to make a painful choice and resign from the university in 1986. One year later, my fifteen-year-old son, Matthew, died from bone cancer, and thereafter my fiction tended to depict the search for a son, particularly in Fireflies (1988) and Desperate Measures (1994). To make a new start, my wife and I moved to the mountains and mystical light of Santa Fe, New Mexico, where my work changed yet again, exploring the passionate relationships between men and women, highlighting them against a background of action as in the newest, Burnt Sienna. To give his stories a realistic edge, he has been trained in wilderness survival, hostage negotiation, executive protection, antiterrorist driving, assuming identities, electronic surveillance, and weapons. A former professor of American literature at the University of Iowa, Morrell now lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing; Reprint edition (February 1, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0446364401
  • ISBN-13: 978-0446364409
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 0.8 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (204 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #71,130 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

David Morrell is the author of FIRST BLOOD, the award-winning novel in which Rambo was created. He holds a Ph. D. in American literature from Penn State and was a professor in the English department at the University of Iowa. His numerous New York Times bestsellers include the classic spy trilogy that begins with THE BROTHERHOOD OF THE ROSE, the basis for the only television mini-series to premier after a Super Bowl. The other books in the trilogy are THE FRATERNITY OF THE STONE and THE LEAGUE OF NIGHT AND FOG. An Edgar, Anthony, and Macavity nominee, Morrell is the recipient of three Bram Stoker awards and the prestigious Thriller Master award from the International Thriller Writers organization. His writing book, THE SUCCESSFUL NOVELIST, discusses what he has learned in his four decades as an author. His latest novel is the highly praised Victorian mystery/thriller, MURDER AS A FINE ART.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

65 of 67 people found the following review helpful By Greg on May 6, 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Morrell became famous with this great novel. This book is nothing like the movies. In the movies Rambo is the clear cut hero while Will Teasle is the "Red Neck Sherriff" out to get someone who looks different. In the book there is not clear cut "good guy" or "bad guy." Both Rambo and Teasle are responsible for what happends. Both had a chance to let it go but don't. Rambo is going through a psychological hell in his mind when trying not to kill again but being forced to in his mind. Teasle who loses several close people in his life and is in the middle of a personal crisis at home. Both were heroes in different wars. Teasle was a hero in the Korean War while Rambo got the medal of honor for his work in Vietnam. This is a great psychological read. Both men think they are right and will not stop until the other is not breathing. Which one will win? Who is right and who is wrong? Also if you buy the book to read for the 1st time do NOT read the introduction if you don't want the ending spoiled.
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63 of 70 people found the following review helpful By Mr D. on July 2, 2005
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
You are a war hero, a Congressional Medal of Honor winner, finally back stateside and your welcome home has been dubious at best. Your mind is jumbled up and you don't know what you want to do so you start traveling around the country. You hitchhike or ride the bus when you can and walk otherwise. You camp out in the woods and live off the land as you are trained to do.

You are a law abiding citizen. You love your country, you fought for your country, and you've KILLED for your country. You are a trained killing machine, a weapon of mass destruction, sprung tight and ready to go off with provocation and provoke you they do. In town after town you have been rousted, not because of anything you've done but because of your scruffy appearance.

John Rambo is passing through Madison, Kentucky and decides to get a hamburger but as usual it's not that simple. Chief of Police, Wilfred Teasle has other ideas. He doesn't want any riffraff in his town so he picks the kid up and drives him to the edge of town, He wasn't particularly nasty about it, in fact he tried to be pleasant, determined but pleasant, but he wasn't so pleasant later when he found the kid in the local diner. He told the waitress to put the kid's order in a bag and hustled him back out of town. By now Teasle was very annoyed, so he went and parked on a side street and kept watch to make sure the kid did not walk back into town.

For his part the kid (Rambo) had reached his limit. If someone was going to push him, he was going to push back. He was determined to go back and confront the Chief and make him back down but of course Teasle had other ideas. He arrested the kid, took him to jail, hosed him down and started to give him a haircut and a shave.

Now, Rambo was an escaped POW.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 7, 1998
Format: Hardcover
Possibly the best action/adventure book you'll find anywhere. It certainly is the best I've ever read. I was, and am, a fan of the movie with Stallone, and read the book back in 85, after Rambo II (groan) came out. How could I have known that the book would be so much better. As usual, the book always outdoes the movie. I've read it twice so far, and am beginning to feel it's almost time for number 3. I became a big Morrell fan after reading First Blood, having read about 10 of his books so far. I like his no-nonsense writing style and his fast-paced plotting, but none of his other books, in my opinion, have approached the great work he did on First Blood. Get Stallone out of your head and read the book.
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19 of 24 people found the following review helpful By on April 19, 1998
Format: Hardcover
The novel "First Blood" by David Morrel may be wrongly interpreted as just an "action/adventure" thriller without a brain, but that's far from the truth. The book does contains some elements of the adventure genre, but it presents us with a much bigger vison of life than just that. It is about Intolerance and justice.
John Rambo, a vagant war veteran, is mistreated by a bunch of redneck cops in a small town in the US. Submitted to humiliation and torture, and being traumatized by the months (years?) he spent under torture by the vietnamese, the ex-green beret and war hero loses control, explodes in fury and hatred and fights back, starting a killing spree.
He hides in the woods, builds traps, he uses the elements of the nature against his pursuiters.
The climax hits when both him and his enemies are thrown in the woods, his element, were they have to play by his rules, and the animal within each one of them takes control.
Then, violence erupts.
The novel is very real and down-to-earth. It is quite different from the movie. It is not heroic at all. It is about being different and being thrown aside, it is about the indiference, hate and coldness that the United States gave to their war veterans. It is about intolerance and fear. It is about how the government destroyed the sanity of some kids to build killing machines out of them, and sent those killing machines to southeast Asia to a war they could not understand, didn't want to and, mainly, didn't HAVE to. To kill better.
It is about how, when those kids came back home confused and tortured by the atrocities they had seen/commited, their country threw them in the gutter, pretending that they weren't there. Disposable heroes.
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